Tag Archives: Religion

Top 10 Churches Where God Is Not Worshiped

Churches are synonymous with Christianity. We often think of churches as places of worship for Christians even though there are churches that are not targeted at that group.These non-Christian churches are dedicated to the worship of other gods or humans or might not even be involved in the worship of any god at all. Some even come with their own religious books, prophets, and commandments.


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10. Church Of Maradona

At Iglesia Maradoniana (“Church of Maradona”), Argentine football (soccer) star Diego Maradona is god. The church is based in Argentina but has over 500,000 members around the world. Everything done by the church is modeled after the Argentine football star.Their equivalent of Christmas and New Year’s Day is October 30, Maradona’s birthday. Their Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve fall on October 29, the day before his birthday.For their “calendar,” years are counted from the day of Maradona’s birth in 1960. So the date is always Maradona’s age with dD (despues de Diego) rather than anno Domini (AD). As of this writing, the current year for the Church Of Maradona is 57 dD.New members are expected to score a goal with their left fist, as Maradona did during the 1986 World Cup, before they can be baptized in the church. Followers of the church draw parallels between Maradona and Jesus. Maradona was crucified, sent away from the pitch, and had his leg broken. But like Jesus, he came back. Followers also have their version of the Lord’s Prayer, written in reverence for Maradona. It starts with the lines: Our Diego
Who art on Earth
Hallowed be thy left foot
Thy magic come
Thy goals be remembered.Similarly, the church has its own version of the 10 commandments. Among others, they include undying love for Maradona and football, spreading the news of Maradona’s exploits, and honoring his shirt. The commandments also require that members name their first son Diego and change their own middle names to Diego. One member took this further when he named his twin girls Mara and Dona.


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9. Church Of The Latter-Day Dude

The Church of the Latter-Day Dude claims that it is an original religion modeled after the Chinese philosophy of Taoism. Its dogma is straightforward: Life is short, so take it easy. Followers are encouraged to live life one step at a time without bothers or unnecessary problems. Followers of the religion are called “dudes” regardless of gender. The religion itself is called “Dudeism.” Dudes do not necessarily believe in the existence of a god, although they do not focus on the nonexistence, either. Their church was created for people who fancied religion but are not satisfied with any of the available options. Dudeism prides itself on being an “open source religion” that allows worshipers to add or remove whatever they feel like from the religion.The Church of the Latter-Day Dude also maintains a list of the “Greatest Dudes in History,” which it claims are its prophets.The list includes Lao Tzu (the founder of Taoism), Heraclitus (the Greek philosopher who wrote that it was impossible to step in the same river twice), Mahatma Gandhi, The Buddha, and Jesus Christ (who is said to have converted to Dudeism after realizing that the Romans and Pharisees were fascists). On the fictional side, it has Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s pet dog from the Peanuts comic strip. Yes, Snoopy is a prophet.


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8. The Church Of Wicca

Wicca is a controversial religion. This is no surprise because it is a mixture of witchcraft and magic. It is also a decentralized religion with members worshiping independently, although they can form a coven to worship together.These covens can commission a permanent place of worship that they call a church. Two examples are the Coven of the Gryphon Wiccan Church in Los Angeles and the Church and School of Wicca.The Church and School of Wicca was founded in 1968 even though Wicca officially became a religion in 1972. The church says that it sympathizes with those brutally killed in the medieval ages over their religious beliefs. Its mode of worship is based on the phases of the Moon. There are no commandments. Members are allowed to do anything they want on the condition that it harms no one.


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7. Church Of Yeezus

Followers of the Church of Yeezus believe that Kanye West is the god and savior of the human race. The name of the church came from his nickname, Yeezus. However, Kanye does not identify himself with the church. Followers call themselves Ye’ciples. Anyone is allowed to become a Ye’ciple, even if he already has a religion. In fact, members are encouraged to have another religion.The Church of Yeezus has five commandments. They believe that everything should be created for the good of humanity, everyone should be allowed to express themselves, and money should only be used to buy goods and services. They also believe that we have the ability to create anything we want to and that humans only suffer so they can become more creative.


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6. Missionary Church Of Kopimism

The Missionary Church of Kopimism also proves that we have a lot of weird churches that are not dedicated to the worship of God. This religion is the creation of Swedish national Isaac Gerson who believes that file sharing is an act of appreciation toward the original owner. You know, our little way of telling the creator “thank you.”Gerson says people should be happy that someone even bothered to share their file instead of trying to get them arrested for infringing on a copyright. Followers of his church believe that copyright laws should not exist and everyone should be allowed to download, copy, and upload files without hindrance.They believe that information belongs to everyone and should not be hoarded by a few. The church draws a line, though, by saying that it is wrong to spy on other people’s conversations. The Missionary Church of Kopimism does not have a religious book but recognizes Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V as religious symbols.


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5. Church Of Cannabis

As you can already guess from the name, the activities of the Church of Cannabis revolve around cannabis. There are at least three unrelated Churches of Cannabis operating in the United States—one each in Colorado, Indiana, and Michigan.Members of the Colorado Church of Cannabis call themselves elevationists because they lift themselves to a better version/person by smoking cannabis. Members of other faiths are allowed to join their worship sessions without leaving their religions.Cannabis, not a god, binds them together. The church does not have its equivalent of clergymen or religious books. It only has one commandment: Treat others the way you want to be treated.The First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason is in Lansing, Michigan. Like the International Church of Cannabis in Colorado, members congregate to smoke cannabis, which is classified as a “religious material” and distributed to members during worship sessions.[6]The church also accepts cannabis donations from members to share with other members. Although the religion does not claim the existence of a god, members are allowed to believe in any god they want to.


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4. Church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster

Unsurprisingly, members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM). Their religious motto is: “Be touched by His Noodly Appendage!”The FSM is a fictional monster made of intertwined strands of spaghetti, two meatballs, and a pair of eyes. The followers, who call themselves Pastafarians, believe that the FSM created the world. He supposedly did this when he was drunk, which is why the world is imperfect.Pastafarians say that pirates were the first worshipers of the FSM. Apparently, these pirates were good guys who were only given a bad rap by the Christian church. Natural disasters are supposedly the consequences of the reduced number of pirates. The church does not have a strict dogma. It preaches that everyone should lead their lives peacefully without interrupting others’ peaceful lives.Pastafarians also believe that there is a beer volcano and a stripper factory in heaven. The church forbids abortion, although it has some weird definition of what constitutes abortion. Men who cause damage to their sperm, maybe from wearing tight pants or using hot water Jacuzzis, are said to be guilty of abortion. The church readily accepts members from other faiths.


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3. First Church For Animal Rights

The First Church for Animal Rights was the creation of Diana Belais and Royal Dixon. They held the first meeting at Hotel Astor in New York on March 13, 1921. Over 300 people attended. The church promoted animal rights, stating that animals had the same right to life as humans and should not be killed. The church was supposed to meet at 3:00 PM every Sunday for what The New York Times referred to as “services.”During these meetings, members were taught how to care for and be considerate toward animals. The church recognized the Christian Bible as its religious book, except it only focused on chapters promoting animal rights.There is no record that the church held a second meeting. This was probably due to its unpopularity among Christians because of the inclusion of “Church” in its name. Its founders were also Jews, which made it more controversial.


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2. Church Of Euthanasia

Although it no longer exists, the Church of Euthanasia believed that humanity needed to reduce its birth rate to save the world. This was very evident in its dogma: Save the planet—kill yourself. Followers of the church said that humans were responsible for every environmental problem, such as climate change and erosion. So we needed to depopulate ourselves to save the world.In its quest to keep the human population down, the church supported cannibalism, abortion, non-vaginal sex, and suicide. It once operated a pro-suicide hotline that people could call to receive suicide instructions if they were willing to kill themselves. The phone company hosting the line realized what was happening and refused to play the recorded message to callers.The church understood that wars and epidemics were already depopulating the Earth, but it said that was not enough to make a difference. Besides, unwilling people were often killed. The church preferred that willing volunteers die. This religion was founded by Reverend Chris Korda after she dreamed of meeting an alien that warned her about the slow destruction of the Earth.[9]Despite its radical beliefs, the Church of Euthanasia forbade the consumption of animals. It proposed that all humans become vegetarians. The church had only one commandment: “Thou shalt not procreate.” Ironically, some members flouted this single commandment and got pregnant or got someone else pregnant. They were quickly kicked out of the church.


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1. Church Of Bey

Beyism is another religion formed to worship a musician. This time, it is Beyonce Knowles. The religion has its own church, the National Church of Bey. Although followers of Beyism agree that Beyonce is not a goddess, they say that she is a deity that “sits among the throne of Gods.” She is only in the world to spread the gospel through her music and will leave for her throne once she is done.Worshipers call Beyonce “Mother Bey” and have their Beyonce-inspired religious book, the Beyble. There is no evidence that Beyonce acknowledges the religion, although the church plans to invite her to speak to the congregation someday. They hold services on Sundays when worshipers meet to sing Beyonce songs.Beyism and the National Church of Bey were founded by Pauline John Andrews. She created the church and religion after she and some friends met to sing and analyze Beyonce songs. They were drinking and smoking marijuana, which she calls Beyha, during the meeting when the thought of creating the church crossed her mind.

Pope Francis Sets Special Day To Honor, Study and Share The Bible


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The newly established “Sunday of the Word of God” is an invitation to Catholics across the world to deepen their appreciation, love and faithful witness to God and his word, Pope Francis said.

By papal decree, the third Sunday in Ordinary Time — Jan. 26 this year — is to be observed as a special day devoted to “the celebration, study and dissemination of the word of God.”

A day dedicated to the Bible will help the church “experience anew how the risen Lord opens up for us the treasury of his word and enables us to proclaim its unfathomable riches before the world,” the pope said in the document establishing the special Sunday observance.

Dioceses and parishes have been invited to respond with creative initiatives, helpful resources and renewed efforts for helping Catholics engage more deeply with the Bible at church and in their lives.


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Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, said added emphasis on the importance of the word of God is needed because “the overwhelming majority” of Catholics are not familiar with sacred Scripture. For many, the only time they hear the word of God is when they attend Mass, he told Vatican News Sept. 30, when the papal document, titled “Aperuit Illis,” was published.

“The Bible is the most widely distributed book, but it’s also perhaps the one most covered in dust because it is not held in our hands,” the archbishop said.

With this apostolic letter, the pope “invites us to hold the word of God in our hands every day as much as possible so that it becomes our prayer” and a greater part of one’s lived experience, he said.

In his letter, Pope Francis wrote, “A day devoted to the Bible should not be seen as a yearly event but rather a yearlong event, for we urgently need to grow in our knowledge and love of the Scriptures and of the risen Lord, who continues to speak his word and to break bread in the community of believers.”


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“We need to develop a closer relationship with sacred Scripture; otherwise, our hearts will remain cold and our eyes shut, struck as we are by so many forms of blindness,” he wrote.

Sacred Scripture and the sacraments are inseparable, he wrote. Jesus speaks to everyone with his word in sacred Scripture, he said, and if people “hear his voice and open the doors of our minds and hearts, then he will enter our lives and remain ever with us.”

Pope Francis urged priests to be extra attentive to creating a homily each Sunday that “speaks from the heart” and really helps people understand Scripture “through simple and suitable” language.

The homily “is a pastoral opportunity that should not be wasted,” he wrote. “For many of our faithful, in fact, this is the only opportunity they have to grasp the beauty of God’s word and to see it applied to their daily lives.”

Pope Francis encouraged people to read the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, “Dei Verbum,” and Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic exhortation on the Bible, “Verbum Domini,” whose teaching remains “fundamental for our communities.”

The pope also suggested pastors provide parishioners with the Bible, a book of the Gospels or other catechetical resources, “enthrone” the Bible in order to emphasize the honor and sacred nature of the text, bless or commission lectors of the parish and encourage people to read and pay with Scripture every day, especially through “lectio divina.”

“The Bible cannot be just the heritage of some, much less a collection of books for the benefit of a privileged few. It belongs above all to those called to hear its message and to recognize themselves in its words,” the pope wrote.


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“The Bible is the book of the Lord’s people, who, in listening to it, move from dispersion and division toward unity” as well as come to understand God’s love and become inspired to share it with others, he added.

The celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God also “has ecumenical value, since the Scriptures point out, for those who listen, the path to authentic and firm unity,” he wrote. The third Sunday in Ordinary Time falls during that part of the year when the church is encouraged to strengthen its bonds with the Jewish people and to pray for Christian unity.

The document was published on the feast of St. Jerome, patron saint of biblical scholars and doctor of the church, who said, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” The title, “Aperuit Illis,” is based on a verse from the Gospel of St. Luke, “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”

The pope said it is impossible to understand the Scriptures in depth without the Lord who opens people’s minds to his word, yet “without the Scriptures, the events of the mission of Jesus and of his church in this world would remain incomprehensible.”

Source Credit: Catholic News Service

10 Biblical Reasons Why Hell Might Not Exist

Today, many Christians believe in a place of eternal torment where sinners are sent after death, commonly referred to as “Hell” in English. Which is strange, because some say the evidence for eternal punishment as an integral part of the Christian religion is virtually nonexistent. See what you think!

10. The Bible Barely Mentions

Christian believers in the idea of Hell will tell you that it’s a place of punishment for sinners and evildoers. But does that idea have a scriptural basis? See Romans 6:7, “he that is dead is freed from sin.” So if a person’s sins are cleared with his or her death, then what’s with the additional punishment of Hell? Well, Romans 6:23 goes on to state that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Note that there is no mention of sinners being condemned to everlasting torture, they simply don’t get the reward for living a righteous life. Similarly, 2 Thessalonians 1:9 says that the punishment for those deemed wicked is not fiery torture, but destruction, “shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.”John 3:36 strikes roughly the same note, declaring that sinners “will not see [eternal] life.”


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Meanwhile, Jude 1:7 does mention “eternal fire,” but only in the context of Sodom and Gomorrah, which are literally destroyed by the eternal fire of God’s wrath. That leaves brief mentions in the Book of Revelation and two of Christ’s parables as the Biblical basis for the fiery Hell of popular imagination (more on those verses later). But if a place of eternal torment was truly intended as an integral component of Christianity, surely it’s strange that the Bible never seems to pay much attention to it?


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9. Endless Punishment Doesn’t Make

From a Christian perspective, the idea of Hell is not only cruel and unusual, but totally excessive. Would a God described in the Bible as “a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right” decide that infinite punishment is just and fair? 1 John 4:8 states that God is the very concept of love. Would a loving father eternally torture his child as punishment, even if the child did something seriously wrong? Deuteronomy 19:21 famously states “an eye for an eye,” a principal of equal punishment that seems rather out of sync with the idea of literally endless torment as retribution for the sins of a short mortal life.In fact, the fiery Hell of popular imagination seems even harsher after considering God’s words in Jeremiah 7:31: “They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.” If the idea of humans being burned in fire is so unappealing to God that it never even came into His thoughts, then what’s His deal with Hell?


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8. Many References To Hell Were Mistranslations

When it comes to misconceptions about Hell, the popular 17th-century King James Version (KJV) of the Bible has a lot to answer for. For example, in the KJV, the prophet Jonah was in the “belly of Hell,” while David bafflingly insists that God would be with him even in Hell. Even Jesus pops down to Hell after his death on the cross.This obviously makes no sense. The Bible repeatedly states that Hell, whatever else it is, involves separation from God. So why is Jesus swinging by for a visit and why is David so sure that God would be with him there? In fact, if God is with David, why would he be in Hell in the first place? The answer is that the KJV lumps a whole bunch of different Greek and Hebrew words together under the English term “Hell.” The words in question are Hades, Sheol, Tartarus, and Gehenna, and they can have very different meanings in their original context.That’s particularly important to Hades and Sheol, which are roughly equivalent words in Greek and Hebrew. Neither can reasonably be translated as “place of torment,” which is what the word “Hell” now generally implies. A better translation might be “the grave” or “the afterlife.” Neither term carries a value judgment in the way that “Hell” does only the wicked go to Hell, but all souls are in Sheol after death. So David’s weird KJV claim that God would be with him in “Hell” is better translated as “the afterlife” or even “the depths.” While the KJV references Jesus being in Hell after his death on the cross, the New International Version makes a much less dramatic reference to him being in his “grave.” In fact, the New International Version only refers to Hell 15 times, compared to a whopping 54 mentions in the KJV.Other modern Bibles try to avoid such problems altogether by simply leaving “Sheol” and “Hades” untranslated, although this hasn’t quite undone the influence of the KJV. As the Encyclopedia Americana of 1942 put it: “Much confusion and misunderstanding has been caused through the early translators of the Bible persistently rendering the Hebrew Sheol and the Greek Hades and Gehenna by the word ‘Hell.’ The simple transliteration of these words by the translators of the revised editions of the Bible has not sufficed to appreciably clear up this confusion and misconception.


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”7‘Gehenna’ Is Controversial,

So if “Hades” and “Sheol” don’t 8atch the modern perception of Hell, that leaves “Gehenna.” (“Tartarus” is also sometimes translated as “Hell,” but the term only appears once in the Bible, and not in relation to humans, so it has limited relevance here.) “Gehenna” is certainly the Biblical term most often rendered “Hell” in English. For example, the New International Version of Matthew 5:30 states: “If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into Hell.” Scary, right?It all comes down to the controversy over the exact meaning of “Gehenna.” The word itself is a Greek rendering of the Hebrew terms ge-hinnom and ge-ben-hinnom, which mean “valley of the sons of Hinnom” and refer to an actual valley just outside ancient Jerusalem. The valley first appears in the Old Testament as the location of fiery pagan child sacrifices, which continue at least until 2 Kings 23:10, which describes how Josiah ravaged the site so “that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Moloch.” By the time of Jesus, the term was apparently used metaphorically to refer to a place of fiery destruction, and Jesus uses it 11 times in this context. It’s interesting to note that Hebrew had no word for such a concept and Jesus apparently felt no need to introduce one, preferring to make historical allusions instead.Or maybe not. According to some scholars, the valley of Gehenna had essentially become Jerusalem’s incinerator by the time of Christ. It featured constantly burning fires, which consumed the city’s garbage and the bodies of criminals and the disgraced. This tradition is quite old, but not supported by any real evidence or ancient accounts, although it is strange that Jesus refers to bodies being destroyed in Gehenna as well as souls.In any case, none of Christ’s references to Gehenna suggest any kind of eternal torment. Certainly, the fires of Gehenna are described as eternal, but Jesus specifically warns that they will be used to “destroy both soul and body.” Removing unrighteous people from existence, as that verse suggests, doesn’t sound particularly like torturing them forever. The second meaning can only be inferred by readers who already have that concept of Hell.


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6. Jesus Didn’t Invent His Parable About

So is the idea of a fiery Hell completely alien to the Bible? Not at all. It’s right there in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, as recorded in Luke 16:19-31. In the story, a wealthy man lives it up while ignoring a beggar named Lazarus. But the pair experience a dramatic role reversal after their deaths, when Lazarus is carried off by angels to a blissful existence in the bosom of Abraham, while the rich man finds himself tormented in a blazing fire. The rich man begs Lazarus to take pity on him and bring him some water, but Abraham points out that the rich man had a great life and never took pity on Lazarus. Abraham also refuses to resurrect Lazarus to warn the rich man’s family to change their ways, arguing that they can choose to follow the prophets or not, but witnessing a miracle won’t suddenly make them good people.This is probably the closest the Bible gets to the modern conception of Hell. However, it’s important to note that the Bible doesn’t present it as a true story or a straightforward warning about the afterlife. Christ’s parables are clearly fictional stories designed to convey a message. As Warren Prestidge points out, the Rich Man and Lazarus is immediately preceded by the Parable of the Unjust Steward, where a servant defrauds his master and gets rewarded for it. If you ignored the deeper meaning of the parables, you’d conclude that Jesus thought stealing from your boss was great.In fact, Jesus didn’t even come up with the story in the first place. Scholars have long identified the general outline (a beggar is rewarded after death, while a rich man is punished) as an Egyptian folktale that became popular with Jewish religious teachers like the Pharisees, to the point that early Jewish literature contains at least seven versions of it. In Luke’s account, Jesus only brings the story up after the Pharisees mock his original Parable of the Unjust Steward, thus using one of their own favorite stories to demonstrate their hypocrisy. With this context, it’s hard to see the parable as a serious account of the Christian afterlife.


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5. The Other Verses Aren’t Conclusive

The Bible also contains a reference to eternal fiery torture in Revelation 20:10-15, which refers to a “lake of burning sulfur” where entities are “tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Of course, the entities involved apparently include “death” and “Hades,” which are not actual people able to experience actual suffering. In other words, this is symbolism. Just as these aren’t literal people, neither is the location they are assigned to.That leaves the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, as found in the Book of Matthew. In the story, which hovers somewhere between a parable and a straightforward sermon, Jesus appears to speak of the Last Judgment, when sinners will be banished “into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” This section of the sermon/parable is fairly direct and clearly not part of a fictional story like the Rich Man and Lazarus. The parable ends with an apparent reference to unending torment: “Then [the unrighteous] will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” For these reasons, the Sheep and the Goats is generally considered the key Bible passage behind the popular conception of Hell.However, many theologians argue that this interpretation of the Sheep and the Goats contradicts a number of other Bible verses, which explain the fate of the unrighteous at the Last Judgment as fiery destruction via “the second death.” If the unrighteous are destroyed, they can’t be tormented forever. Some Biblical scholars argue that, while the fire of punishment is described as eternal, that doesn’t mean the wicked will be punished there for all eternity. Rather, the punishment is total destruction in the holy fire, which has always existed. In other words, the eternal punishment (“aionios kolasis“) has lasted forever, but the punishment itself is simply immediate destruction.Jehovah’s Witnesses and other groups who not believe in Hell go even further, arguing that the word kolasis shouldn’t be translated as “punishment” at all. Citing its derivation from a Greek term for pruning trees, they suggest that it would better be rendered “cutting off,” “destruction,” or even “death.” The last interpretation would turn “aionios kolasis” into “eternal death,” making a nice contrast with the “eternal life” promised the righteous. The “pruning trees” meaning also invokes John 15:6: “If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” Kolasis only appears twice in the New Testament, but the Old Testament in Greek uses it to refer to punishment in general and to death as a form of punishment, suggesting that “eternal punishment” and “eternal death” are both valid translations.


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4. Even The Church Fathers Couldn’t Agree On Hell

Since many hold the early church fathers as the authority on matters of faith and doctrine, many would find it surprising that even they couldn’t agree if Hell existed and, if so, what it actually was. Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Cyprian were among those that held that Hell was a literal place of fiery torment. Origen and Gregory of Nyssa disagreed, countering that Hell was simply separation from God. While the idea of eternal fiery damnation can be found as early as the apocryphal second-century Apocalypse of Peter, it doesn’t seem to have become dominant in Christian thinking until around the fifth century AD.Ironically, this view was heavily inspired by a non-Christian, the Greek philosopher and mathematician Plato, whom the French historian Georges Minois credited with “the greatest influence on traditional views of Hell” of all the early philosophers. Plato’s Story of Er features an afterlife in which sinners are punished or rewarded in proportion to their misdeeds in life. Whatever your views on Hell’s existence, Plato’s sin-specific punishments definitely have no Biblical support, but the philosopher’s ideas can still be detected in many popular versions of the Christian afterlife, most notably Dante’s Inferno.In modern times, many Christian denominations have moved away from Saint Augustine’s conception of Hell as a physical place beneath the Earth. Even the venerable Catholic Church has apparently decided to go with the flow, with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, approved by Pope John Paul II in 1992, declaring that Hell is simply a state of “definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed.”


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3. Some Aspects Of Hell Seem Distinctly

Plato might have had the greatest role, but non-Abrahamic influences on Hell date back a long way before the Greeks pioneered philosophy. The Ancient Egyptian religion, for example, featured a cavern containing a “lake of fire” where the souls of the wicked were punished for their transgressions. The early Mesopotamians also believed that the underworld lay underground, although it was more dim and miserable than a place of eternal punishment.A particularly interesting comparison can be made between the popular idea of Hell and Zoroastrianism, an ancient religion originating in what is now Iran. In the earliest Zoroastrian texts, the souls of the sinful are judged after death and condemned to eternal punishment in the underworld, which the Book Of Arda Viraf describes as a pit full of fire, “smoke, stench and demons.” The souls are tortured according to the severity of their sins in life and the whole thing is presided over by Angra Mainyu, the great evil spirit, “who ever ridiculed and mocked the wicked in hell” for following him instead of their creator god.That sounds remarkably like the Hell of modern pop culture. And what’s just as remarkable is how many of those details have no basis in the Bible. Zoroastrian hell is staffed by demons and ruled by a devil figure, whereas the Christian Devil and his followers have no role in the afterlife and are the one group clearly stated to be destined for punishment in “Tartarus.” There’s certainly no reason to believe that a Christian hell would make the punishment fit the crime, whereas the demons of Zoroastrianism seem to delight in devising inventive tortures for each particular sin. In fact, the Book Of Arda Viraf is distinctly reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno.


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2. EvenThe Concept Is Alien To The Old Testament

the thin evidence for Hell in the New Testament looks vast in comparison to the Old Testament, which clearly has no concept of Hell at all. Rather, scriptures like Job 3:11-18 suggest that death is simply a cessation: “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb . . . For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest . . . There the wicked cease from turmoil, and there the weary are at rest.” Pretty self-explanatory. Ecclesiastes 3:19 sounds even more skeptical about the possibility of an afterlife, sourly observing that “Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless.”Even at the very start of the Bible, in Genesis 2:16-17 and 3:19, Adam and Eve’s punishment for breaking God’s instructions and eating the forbidden fruit was not the threat of hellfire, but rather a promise that they will eventually die, “for dust you are and to dust you will return.” If Adam and Eve were at risk of being tormented forever, wouldn’t they have been warned of that? Would God lie and tell them they were going back to the dust if his plan was really to lock them in a furnace? When Cain kills Abel, God sentences him to wander the land and even gives him a mark to stop people from killing him. If judgment awaits in the afterlife, surely that was a bit counterproductive?


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1. Hell Is Little Scare Tactics

While religions like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists do not teach the doctrine of Hell, many churches and denominations still cling to the idea. But why?It cannot be denied that, throughout history, the idea of Hell has been used as a scare tactic to keep people in line. An 18th-century preacher named Jonathan Edwards became famous for his fire-and-brimstone sermon “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God,” which warned that God could “cast wicked men into Hell at any moment.” So terrifying was his depiction of hell that other clergymen had to rush to the aid of distraught members of the congregation. Even in modern times, the theme of “believe or you will go to Hell” is common, complete with vivd descriptions of grinding teeth, the shrieks of the damned, and the odor of scorching flesh. Writing on the topic, one author describes having seen a young child scream in church, confessing that he was “afraid of Hell.”Others, such as Queen Mary I of England, have used the doctrine as an excuse for perpetrating barbarism. Before sentencing a group of Protestants to be burned alive, she supposedly declared: “As the souls of heretics are hereafter to be eternally burning in Hell, there can be nothing more proper than for me to imitate the Divine vengeance by burning them on earth.”Like all scare tactics, the idea of hellfire can exert a powerful grip on believers. However, the Biblical evidence for the horrifying doctrine is rather lacking. In fact, the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, often cited as Biblical proof of the doctrine of Hell, actually has the opposite message. At the end of the parable, Abraham declines to send Lazarus back to Earth to warn sinners of some terrifying fate awaiting them in the afterlife, arguing that righteousness can only come from belief, rather than fear of some supernatural punishment.My mission is to turn the sprinkler on hell.

Head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has changed a line in ‘The Lord’s Prayer’

Head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City, Pope Francis has changed a pivotal line in The Lord’s Prayer.

For centuries, the prayer has read:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

But the petition ‘lead us not into temptation’ will now be said ‘do not let us fall into temptation’.

Pope Francis believes the English translation of the prayer is not correct and implies it is God who leads people into ‘temptation’.

The head of the Catholic Church hinted at changes back in 2017.

“I am the one who falls; it’s not Him pushing me into temptation to then see how I have fallen,” the Pope told Italian reporters.

“A father doesn’t do that, a father helps you to get up immediately. It’s Satan who leads us into temptation, that’s his department.”
The prayer comes from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, where Jesus teaches his disciples to pray during the Sermon on the Mount.

It has since become the most widely-used prayer in the Christian world.

The changes were approved on May 22 at the General Assembly of the Episcopal Conference of Italy.